Balanced Optimism for Oil and Gas: Canada’s Two-Year Energy Outlook

The Conference Board of Canada, 14 pages, October 20, 2021
Issue Briefing
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This quarterly economic forecast presents the medium-term outlook for the Canadian economy. This release focuses on energy. For an overview of all major components of the economy, go to the Canadian Outlook main page.

Document Highlights

  • The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price is expected to remain elevated through next year, although COVID-19 outbreaks will continue to cause temporary downward pressure on oil prices.
  • The price discount between Canadian heavy oil and WTI will remain favourable thanks to the completion of pipeline projects that will significantly increase export capacity over the next year.
  • The industry’s GDP is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.
  • Demand for Canadian crude oil will remain solid, as U.S. oil consumption continues to recover from its lockdown-induced lows.
  • Despite improvements, capital spending in the oil and gas industry will struggle to reach 2019 levels as producers continue to prioritize their balance sheets.
  • Canada’s oil and gas industry will continue to face growing pressure to drastically cut emissions from its operations.
  • Employment in the oil and gas industry has rebounded but still faces hiring headwinds.
  • Demand for Canadian natural gas will remain strong due to the fact that it’s a relatively cheap and low-carbon energy source and is still a big part of the U.S.’s overall energy mix.
  • Renewable energy projects will continue to grow as Canada works to meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Table of Contents

Key Findings
Energy Snapshot
Oil and Gas Jobs Are Booming
New Pipelines Will Support Higher Export Growth
Weather-Related Factors Boost Natural Gas Exports
Oil and Gas Producers Continue to Prioritize Their Balance Sheets
Net Zero by 2050

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